Music or Bongo in the Church
A former Bible College professor once gave a pretty good outline on the subject of music for fundamental Churches. For lack of the meat of that outline I will attempt to fill in the meat. Music is one of the main dividers of movements, conventions & fellowships of Churches. It can even cause strong disruption within a local congregation. An immeasurable spectrum of music labled Christian is available today. Music pervades every facet of human life. It is natural and necessary to define what is acceptable and what is unacceptable in one's personal life and in one's communal life within his Church.
Obviously the first area to be defined is lyrics. Since individuals from every Church or sect find themselves with talent to write lyrics we are never without a continual flow of poetry and songs. As one reads or hears lyrics, stanzas or phrases sometimes are blatently unscriptural; revealing the immaturity, error or stupidity of the author. Just because the song cries for rhyme doesn't give the author liberty to twist truth. Liberal thought can send its message through music. Unscriptural general opinion may strengthen its hold through cunningly written lyrics.
The Second area to be defined is identity. With what and with whom is the song identified with and by? Obviously Baptists would not generally use songs that extolled the deity of Mary, or that centered on the ultimate erroneous rise of Jehovah's Kingdom by 144,000 followers. Followed closely by the identity of the song's author. Back in the good old days, just about every secular performer would produce at least one religious record. This gave them an inroad to christian homes and in some cases introduced that Christian family to a voice, which thereafter brought songs of unfaithfulness and debauchery by the same medium. There are very few Country-Western singers who lived and thought the words of their Gospel recordings. It is more difficult to identify songs today, but suffice it to say that only a fool would say, "I don't pay any attention to the character of the artist, I just listen to the lyrics and the rythmn."
The third area to be defined is music style. This is the hard one and the most divisive. When you walk into the average Gospel music store today, you will find every kind of Gospel music styles imaginable and there will be more tomorrow. Classical Gospel to Heavy Metal Gospel. Much of it stresses the sound so much that it drowns out the lyrics. Much of it doesn't have a variety of stanzas, just vain repetition of the same phrase. I agree with the term, "7-11 Gospel" that has been applied to those choruses. Since the choices are so multiplied and the divisions so varied, all I can do here is reiterate the first two areas and then add that music should glorify the Jesus Christ of the Bible and not the performers. Music sounds that resemble that from bars and dance halls should not emanate from the house of God. The sexual, sensual music that originates from impure motivations should not be united with inspired hymns. New age taint is very obvious on much ot the modern Gospel music. Most popular singers are focusing on, "What I am doing for God." or "What I expect God to do for me." Praise without proof is vanity." Our praise and worship should be evidenced by our works and witness. I am amazed at the popularity of charismatic music in Baptist circles. Paul Crouch and his TBN influence has had a deterring effect on Bible believing, soul-winning, sin hating, devil devastating Baptists. Enticing the self-righteous, self-glorifying to get up on stage and flount their superficial spirituality. If you are not faithful to the House of God, then you have no right to try to make people think you are spiritual. I am not impressed and I think God is not impressed. It is hard to be humble while you are dancing around on the stage seeking the admiration of the congregation. Worship without true humility doesn't exist.
It is always intriguing, to watch how the devil is able to pull up along side Christianity and stick little monkey wrenches in here and there and do his finest work. Confusion!